FAU Game 11
The Award Finalists were announced, and I’m used to having people in for the finalist. Looking through the lists, I wasn’t really sure what I’d see seeing as this year our group has played great, but they aren’t top 10 contenders in any measure except for how they’ve played together as a team. These are the finalists:
Paul “Bear” Bryant Finalist: Coach Geno Demarco (Wasn’t really a surprise leading a 3 win team to an undefeated start)
Heisman Trophy: QB Leslie Varela (Alright this was a little surprising that he’d even be in the running…)
Ray Guy: P Adam Barton
Lou Groza: K Shane Dunlap
John Mackey: TE Jess Peterson
Fred Biletnikoff: WR Craig Olsen
Davey O’Brien: QB Leslie Varela
Now of course they haven’t officially won anything yet, they are just in the running but it’s impressive knowing how my guys have ranked in relations to others. We also just got ranked into the Top 25 Media Poll at #22. We can’t get distracted with potential awards right now though, we still have games left…
DE Kurt Wood, FB Bryan Nelson, RB John Smith all recovered over our bye week completely, while OT Nelson still is battling with his stomach, C Thompson is dealing with his knee that is tweaked, and DE Curry is fighting through his twisted ankle he suffered during practice this week. OT Nelson and C Thompson both feel they can play, so we are going to let them. DE Curry however we want to sit out so his ankle can fully heal so DE Beltran and DE Wood will be starting this week. This will be a big week for us, as we face our rivals…
(#22) Florida Atlantic (10-0) vs. (7-3) Florida International
- 98 yard kick return to start the game off for FAU gets the game off started nicely. RB John Smith runs the rest of the way in for a touchdown. 7-0, FAU.
- FIU responds with a touchdown of their own. 7-7 tie game.
- FIU forces RB Smith to fumble and they return it for a touchdown. 14-7 FIU.
- QB Varela finds TE Peterson in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game again, 14-14!
- 43 yard field goal attempt by FIU is missed!
- RB Smith punches it in to take the lead for us. 21-14, FAU.
- :38 left and FIU punts the ball while we use our first time out. We return it to the FIU 38 with 0:32 left on the clock. An incomplete pass, and it’s 2nd down on the 38 with 0:25 left on the clock. 15 yard pass to TE Peterson moves us up to the 23, with 0:12 left on the clock and we use our 2nd time out. We decide to just go for the 41 yard field goal, but K Dunlap misses it! FIU takes a knee to end the half.
- FIU scored a touchdown. 21-21.
- QB Varela finds WR Olsen for a TD to take the lead again. 28-21, FAU.
- FIU intercepts QB Varela and ran it back for a touchdown! 28-28.
- QB Varela finds TE Peterson in the end zone. 35-28, FAU.
- FIU attempts a 44 yard field goal but misses it!
- QB Varela hits WR Richardson right in the hands in the end zone! 42-28, FAU.
- CB Coleman intercepts the ball from FIU!
- QB Varela connects with WR Olsen for a touchdown to continue extending the lead. 49-28, FAU.
Florida Atlantic defeats Florida International, 49 to 28.
FAU Game 12
OT Kenneth Brandon joined the campus today to check us out, just in time for our final game of the regular season against Akron! C Thompson fully recovered from his knee injury, while OT Nelson is almost completely healed with his stomach issues. DE Curry is fighting through his ankle pain while ILB May had a severe concussion. We brought OT Nelson back in at right tackle for this game, while Thompson is going to take the lead snaps under center. With the concussion fear for ILB May, we don’t want him to push it and not be able to play again should something happen so we’re benching him this week and letting JR ILB Jimmy Gibson start at RILB… this should be his chance to impress. DE Beltran and DE Weir are just going to keep their starting positions, regardless of DE Curry doing better, since Curry still isn’t 100%.
We’ve moved up to #14 in the rankings system and ESPN, Sports Center, Bright house Networks, and a bunch of other television networks have been trying to reach us for comment now that everyone is talking about us, but we’ve been very careful not to say anything to anyone. We just have to focus on football right now, we don’t have time to play media.
- After a sack on the first play of the game, the second play resulted in an interception by SS Ruben Ingram from the Akron QB!
- K Dunlap knocks in a field goal to take the early lead for FAU, 3-0.
- RB Smith runs it in at the 2 to extend the lead. 10-0, FAU.
-FS Masterson makes a huge hit for us to make them fumble, and it’s recovered by SS Ingram!
- QB Varela fires a pass out to RB Smith for a touchdown! 17-0 FAU.
- QB Varela was in trouble and runs it in for a touchdown himself! 24-0 FAU!
- Akron scored a touchdown to put points on the board. 24-7 FAU.
- CB Coleman with an interception against the Akron QB!
- 3rd and 33 situation on our own side of the field, and QB Varela finds WR Richardson for 41! 0:51 left on the clock and FAU uses their first timeout. 1st and 10, QB Varela finds TE Peterson for 6. 2nd and 4, 0:45 and the clock is running, incomplete pass intended to WR Olsen stops the clock at 0:32. 3rd and 4, fake handoff and the defense bites, quick pitch to RB Smith for 11 yards! FAU calls their second timeout with 0:24 left on the clock. It’s 1st and Goal on the 8 yard line, QB Varela scrambles to the outside and takes off getting stopped just 1 yard short of the goal line! 2nd and Goal on the 1 yard line, 0:17 left in play and the clock is running! K Dunlap walks out onto the field, and knocks in the 19 yard field goal to waste the time out of the half. 27-7 FAU.
- K Dunlap misses a 40 yard field goal attempt.
- K Dunlap makes up for the missed kick with a 48 yard field goal. 30-7 FAU.
- QB Varela finds WR Olsen in the end zone for a TD! 37-7 FAU.
- K Dunlap misses the 43 yard field goal attempt.
- K Dunlap misses the 45 yard field goal attempt.
- Akron with another touchdown pass. 37-14 FAU.
- Akron tries for an onside kick but FAU holds onto it, then takes a knee to end the game.
Florida Atlantic defeats Akron, 37-14.
2013 Ray Guy Award was given to our own Punter Adam Barton. Also during this week, we were moved up to #8 in the Media Poll! During the conference championships we saw:
ACC Championship: (#1) Virginia Tech (10-1) vs. (9-2) Maryland (#7)
Big Twelve Championship: (#3) Oklahoma (11-1) vs. (9-2) Colorado (#5)
Conference USA Championship: Miami (OH) (8-3) vs. (8-4) East Carolina
Mid-American Championship: Western Michigan (8-3) vs. (7-5) Kent State
Southeastern Championship: (#10) LSU (8-3) vs. (7-4) Florida
Virginia Tech took it to Maryland hard, 37-20 to take the ACC Championship.
Colorado upset Oklahoma, 30-22 when Colorado came back from behind a 22-9 score in the 4th quarter to score 21 points to win the Big Twelve Championship.
Miami (OH) went back and forth with East Carolina, finally sealing their win with a touchdown late in the 4th quarter to win the Conference USA Championship.
Kent State defeated Western Michigan convincingly in a 24-17 win for the Mid-American Championship.
LSU went down early in the first, but then came back and since never looked like they were in danger of losing to Florida to win the Southeastern Championship.
We got invited to a Bowl I’m very familiar with, the New Orleans Bowl to face Central Florida. OG Clark has a strained neck, ILB May has a severe concussion still, and FS Masterson has a torn tendon in his forearm. All three seem willing to go, but FS Peter Green is taking Masterson’s place, ILB Jimmy Gibson is taking May’s place, and OG James Bauer is taking Clark’s place.
(#8) Florida Atlantic (12-0) vs. (6-5) Central Florida
- UCF kicks a field goal to take the first lead of the game. 3-0 UCF.
- FAU misses a 45 yard field goal.
- QB Varela finds WR Olsen in the end zone for a touchdown! 7-3 FAU.
- UCF responds back with a touchdown of their own. 10-7 UCF.
- K Shane Dunlap makes a 44 yard field goal to tie the game, 10-10.
- K Dunlap makes a 40 yard field goal to take the lead! 13-10 FAU!
- We fumble a punt return giving them really good position.
- Luckily we limited them to only a field goal. 13-13, tie game.
- Interception by SS Ruben Ingram!
- K Dunlap kicks a 23 yard field goal to take the lead again with 5:48 left on the clock. 16-13 FAU!
- We force a turnover but fumble the ball on the punt return yet again, luckily this time our own team recovers it.
- 84 yard pass is a touchdown for UCF with 2:20 left on the clock! 20-16 UCF.
1:41 left in the game, 1st and 10 on our own 40. Fake handoff by QB Varela and the pass finds TE Peterson for 20 yards. 1st and 10 on UCF’s 40, with 1:19 left on the clock. Two back to back incomplete passes to WR Jorge Stpierre puts us in a 3rd and 10 on their 40 yard line, with 0:46 left to play. It looks like QB Varela is going to be sacked on the play when he takes off down the field himself and gains 20 yards! 1st and 10 on the UCF 20, 0:40 left on the clock. Incomplete pass to TE Peterson. 2nd and 10, 0:24 left on the clock and it’s running. QB Varela looks, and finds FB Bryan Nelson in the end zone and Nelson makes the grab! Touchdown! After the extra point, with 0:14 left on the clock, the score is 23-20 FAU.
High kickoff into the end zone for no return gives them the ball at their own 20, with 0:07 seconds left on the clock. The QB finds their WR taking off down the sidelines, beaten his man, and for 80 yards as the last seconds fade, they connect and score a touchdown. SS J Copeland got beat and allowed the score. 27-20 UCF at the literal, last second.
Central Florida defeats Florida Atlantic, 27-23 to win the New Orleans Bowl.
Besides our loss, the main bowl games this year are:
Orange Bowl: (#6) Syracuse (11-0) vs. (9-2) Wisconsin (#7)
Sugar Bowl: (#2) California (9-2) vs. (9-3) LSU (#9)
Fiesta Bowl: (#5) Oklahoma (11-2) vs. (9-2) Michigan (#3)
Rose Bowl (Championship): (#1) Virginia Tech (11-1) vs. (10-2) Colorado (#4)
In the Orange Bowl, Syracuse defeated Wisconsin, 39-34.
In the Sugar Bowl, California defeated LSU, 41-24.
In the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma upset Michigan, 20-17.
In the Rose Bowl, Colorado upset Virginia Tech, 38-19 to become the 2013 NCAA Champion.
I got a couple of job offers by about 8 different schools, but I didn’t even open their letters. I had a mission with this new team of mine, and I wasn’t about to give up on them. Meanwhile Bowling Green moved to the Conference USA conference while UTEP Miners dropped to the Mid-American conference. In other news, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs moved to the Big Twelve conference, while the Kansas Jayhawks were demoted to the Mountain West conference. The 3-8 South Carolina under Coach Schroeder went to 5-6 in 2013, while Coach Tyler Wall went unemployed for the remainder of 2013.
Coach Scott Guerra (Our Special Teams Coach) I decided to release after how this season went, and hired another well known special teams coach Lloyd Thompson to take over for us. Defensive Coach Sherman and Offensive Coach Chadwick I decided to keep on board for this next year. I was able to look over and review my own stats and I’ve noticed in the Post-Season I have gone 3-3. Not my most proud statistic.
Our transfer window came and gone, and while they were a couple people interested in coming to play for us for a scholarship, there wasn’t anybody I was interested in giving a shot this year. I’d rather take my chances in the recruiting during the off season. Speaking of recruiting, our current targets we already have note of going in:
WR H. Olsen is playing for Big Rapids (3) competitive level school in Michigan. So far he’s racked up 42 receptions, for 637 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 12 pass deflections on defense. He’s very interested in our school.
WR S. Rosado is playing for Kingstree (3) in South Carolina. He has 40 receptions, for 520 yards, 5 touchdowns, 12 pass deflections and 1 interception on defense. He’s extremely interested in coming to our school.
OLB S. Livingston is playing for St. Thomas Aquinas (1) in Florida. He has 48 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 332 rushing yards, and he’s averaging 3.7 yards per carry. He’s extremely interested in coming to our school.
OG D. Benoit is playing for Chapman (3) in South Carolina. He has no stats available, but he is 6’6, 265 lbs and he’s extremely interested in playing for us.
SS Daniel Chow is playing for Lakeside Highschool (4) in Idaho. He has 38 tackles, 0 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions. He’s extremely interested in playing for us.
So 2 wide outs, an outside line backer, offensive guard, and a strong safety all who we believe could benefit our program to some degree. Time to get the recruiting window underway…